On Monday, the parents of Michael Brown will finally lay their son to rest.
But on the eve of his homecoming, Michael Brown Sr. asked just one thing from the thousands who have been protesting in Ferguson, Mo. since his son was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson — peace.
“Tomorrow, all I want is peace while my son is being laid to rest. Please, please take a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest. Please. That’s all I ask. And thank you,” Brown told an audience of about 600 gathered on the sweltering Central Fields of Forest Park for PeaceFest 2014.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who was also in attendance at Sunday’s rally, drove that simple message home.
“Mum is the word until Michael Brown is laid to rest,” Sharpton told the crowd. “Then, justice.”
“We don’t want anything tomorrow to happen that would defile the name of Michael Brown,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Sunday. “This is not about our rage tomorrow. It’s about the legacy and memory of his son, and the mother’s son, and their families.”
The parents of Trayvon Martin stood with Brown’s father and his mother, Lesley McSpadden, at the event in a show of solidarity and support.
“You all stood for the family of Trayvon Martin, and we’re going to stand for you,” promised Tracy Martin, his father.
Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February 2012. Zimmerman was acquitted in July 2013.
Charles Ewing, Brown’s great-uncle, will deliver the eulogy at Monday’s funeral service. Other attendees include Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, and the Rev. Bernice King, Spike Lee, Diddy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the families of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell.
Mourners gathered at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church well before 9 a.m. on Monday to pay their final respects to the teenager.
— Christina Coleman (@ChristinaKSDK) August 25, 2014
— KSDK NewsChannel 5 (@ksdknews) August 25, 2014
Large lines on both sides of the church for folks who want to pay their respects to Michael Brown pic.twitter.com/cgDG3QW3WB
— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) August 25, 2014
According to CNN, the White House is also sending three officials to Brown’s funeral, including one who attended high school with his mother.
We send love and light to Brown’s family on this difficult day. May he rest in peace.